In a city as huge and unpredictably dangerous as New York, murder is sadly unremarkable. A new slaying, however, has tossed the red ball squarely in Detective Paul Devlin's lap. This victim is a woman, her throat and midsection viciously slashed open, a lethal dose of heroin found in her system. But this outrage is different. This corpse was that of a nun.
With the press turning the killing into a carnival — with blistering heat coming down from the mayor's office, One Police Plaza, and the Archdiocese — Devlin needs to find a murderer, and fast. But suddenly walls are being erected in his path, and powerful threats are being made to stall an investigation that is leading Paul Devlin and his people in a shocking direction: into the secret, fortified heart of the Catholic church itself — and toward a terrifying conspiracy cloaked in silence, piety, and blood.
And death keeps coming. A seemingly uncontainable plague of carnage is cutting down those who have dedicated their lives to a fierce, vengeful God. As the body count grows-as the pieces of a fiendishly twisted puzzle slowly fall into place — Devlin realizes that the web of terror extends wider than anyone ever imagined, into virtually every level of society. In domains sacred and secular — among the city's top cops, priests, and politicians-no one is incorruptible. And no one is safe, least of all Paul Devlin, as a desperate hunt for a nightmarish truth sparks a bloodchilling vendetta aimed at one dedicated policeman . . . and those he loves most dearly.
Never before has the dark, urban wasteland of cops and maniacs been more vividly portrayed — and never have the saber-sharp storytelling skills of Edgar Award winner William Heffernan been as expertly wielded — than in this intensely riveting tale of sin and sacrifice that solidifies the author's standing as a true master of the crime thriller.